As museums opened around the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries, people flocked to marvel at the treasures of the past -- and then they wanted the look for their wardrobes and their homes. This impulse produced a series of historical revivals, including Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Etruscan, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo.
Often, historic influences combined to splendid effect. In this gorgeous ring, we cam admire the ancient Etruscan technique of granulation -- orbs of gold patterning the surface -- plus a towering domed shape evocative of the Renaissance, medievalist talon-like prongs and, crowning all, the "it" stone of the Late Victorian era: a cabochon of fiery opal.
To say this ring is highly dimensional is an understatement; it rises a full half-inch above the finger -- besides measuring a knuckle-covering 3/4" wide and tall. Naturally such size means this dazzler is heavy, containing lots of gold (which tests 14k). The stone, an ample 5mm by 4 mm, is well worthy of its exquisite setting. Loaded with color, it shows flashes of green, rose and bright blue against a softer blue-white background.
Such a jewel simply must have been custom-crafted, perhaps during the 19th century but more likely in the first Victorian Revival period of the 1920s, given its remarkably fine condition. Regardless of dating, this is a ring that exudes opulence, power and history. Its current size is a U.S. 6 - 6 1/2, easily adjusted by your jeweler since the shank isn't ornamented. Provenance is a Texas estate.
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